Saab Designer Profile – Björn Karlström

Posted on 28. Jun, 2008 by in 2000-2009, Designers

Björn Karlström, was the Saab designer responsible for some of the original design of the SAAB 97 Sonett II model that was built between 1966 and 1969. He began his design work much like Saab’s first designer, Sixten Sason where he illustrated aircraft.

Below is a great writeup about his background as a designer from Hobby.se, enjoy:

bjorn-karlstrom.jpgBj̦rn Karlstr̦m was a well known artist who drew scale illustrations of aircraft for nearly 60 years Рsince the late thirties! His work was published in many parts of the world including magazines such as Air Trails, Model Ariplane News, Flying, Aviation Age, American Aircraft Modeler and RC-modeler. He was a consulant for many newspapers, for example the New York Herald Tribune where he was an expert on Russian aircraft of the fifties. He had a remarkable aptitude for accurate drawings even from very scarce information Рthese drawings were almost perfect when compared with better information available later.

Björn left school in the thirties to practice as an aviation mechanic. There he took care of aircraft like Waco, Stinson, Cierva C30 and Cub. In his spare time he made models and drew comic strips. At seventeen years old, in 1938, he was discovered by the editor of the magazine Flygning. During the following years he made many drawings for scale modelers and also drew front covers for the magazine. In 1941 he got the chance to do his first comic strip.

In his long career as an artist Björn was responsible for about a dozen different comic strips, one is still published daily in Svenska Dagbladet, the second largest newspaper in Stockholm. He also illustrated a number of Biggles albums and designed covers for books in many countries.

As a constructor and designer Bj̦rn worked on industrial projects, for example trains, boats, lorries, small motor bikes and even a fancy sports car Рthe SAAB Sonett II. He has also designed small things like refrigerators and outboard engines.

Many people appreciated the work that Björn did during almost half a century. International FAI gave Björn the “Diplome Paul Tissander”. Swedish organizations also awarded Björn medals for his work.

In a series of books we offer Björn’s accumulated works. We start with primary and secondary trainers* of the Royal Swedish Air Force and continue with Swedish fighters in the next book. Later in the series are books with the rest of the Swedish military aircraft, civil aircraft and other interesting collections of Björn’s drawings.

Source: Hobby.SE

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